Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The life and times of Thomas Althusser

Thomas Althusser, 2130 - Daguerreotype by Crystopher Marx

Nowadays, his name is Almost synonymous with "traitor", outside his native country of Switzerland.

But Thomas started his life not as an eponymous villain.

He was out of a family with a long tradition of civil servants from Switzerland, and pretty much an average member of it - for most of his life, a man who prided himself of working eight hours a day to keep the machine of the Swiss state running.

But, as many born in the late '50s of the last century, he was also very worried by the issue of climate change and, throughout his career in the Berne's health department, he became more and more a critic of the established wisdom on a gradual planetary warming up.

The possibilities of some catastrophic "inversion point", hidden in the still unresolved areas of most climatic simulation models, became almost an obsession for him.

Though he arguably had no way to change the state of affairs, or the world's economic policies and their nefarious effects, he spent many hours despairing over how to save Earth's from many possible  catastrophic outcomes.

The possibility that the climate warming was indeed a by-product of a concatenation of human and natural causes, the latter absolutely beyond human control, left him often in a state of frantic panic, though he managed it and worked his way up the food ladder in the Swiss administration (where being ecologically minded wasn't as much of a suicide as, say, in the then-contemporary USA Federal Administration).

Toward the end of the '20s, Thomas was nearing the mandated end of his career in the Swiss Administration, but thought that he was still fairly young. In a moment of something that can only be described as dark brilliance, he decided to leave his post as chief of the statistic office for the Swiss health department and join the U.N. fact-finding commission on Extraterrestrial Cultures, where he spent the successive 15 years, ruthlessly building up the small base of power that he thought he woyld have needed.

In this position, Thomas had access to first-hand information on the Alien cultures surrounding Earth, information that had been placed under "classification" when the initial news on the existence of aliens had stirred worldwide unrest, mostly in theocracies like North Korea.

In his role as "chief debunker of the alien propaganda", Thomas was all too aware of the truth behind the actual counter-propaganda that his own office was helping to spread.

Among the many "Earths" surrounding our solar system, our was maybe the less  technologically advanced - a fact that most Earth's authorities were very decided to hide, along with many other sociological details that didn't fit each authority's own political agendas.

In his role as "selector" of which informations were to be diffused by the official news media, and even before this of which information to present to the U.N. and the various sates' policy makers, Thomas was in an ideal role to push his own, now infamous, agenda.

By subtle manipulations, mostly by overplaying some aspects of one culture, downplaying others, attribute as generals what were really idiosyncrasies of single subcultures and vice-versa restricting to subgroups what were almost universal traits, he managed to reinforce the personal beliefs of many of the most restive governments on Earth about the "Alien Scums".

As a result, pressure groups  developed in various countries and the media became transmitting a host of xenophobic messages, aimed against the invisible "monsters in outer space".

Althusser knew all too well that at least one Alien culture had placed unmanned reconnaissance drones in Earth's local system -  in fact, declassified material proves that his underlings, mainly Inara O'Shaughnessy,  had deduced at least the presence of Anipos' Dark Side of The Moon base station, if not of the Transsian 1 full spectrum listening satellites, that by the late '90s monitored every data broadcasting from Earth and relayed it on FTL channels to the homeworlds.

So, when his game induced the aforementioned Anipos to except on their own rules, and send a manned diplomatic mission to Earth, in 2123, Althusser was among the very few that had been expecting this development.

It is fit that his co-conspirator O'Shaughnessy, who became his successor as the chief of the  "fact finders", managed to get Thomas on-board as a consultant, when she was tasked to assemble the team of experts in alien cultures that was supposed to handle the "dangerous" alien diplomats.

The wrinkled, amicable face of Althusser became a fixture of the first Earth-Anipos  dialogues, where he continued his manipulations with the help of many of the other members of the "Alien cultures experts" group - almost all of which were former graduates of his commission, and shared his overall goal of saving Earth's biosphere from the idiocy of its inhabitants.

Thomas and his fellows soon identified the most intellectually flexible member of the Anipos' mission in Gargan Golefacehuggers, and managed to convince him to join forces with his group of co-conspirators.

With the help of Galgan, they cooked-up the "Blitzstein" scam that helped set in motion the first inter-stellar war of the last 2 millennia, whose opnening salvo was the bombing of the Anipos Automatic observation post on the Moon (the exact location of which had been revealed by Golefacehuggers) on 1st September 2124.

By that time, Thomas Althusser had returned to his native Switzerland, to spend his last days , where he he became one of the most local voices pushing for the small country to leave the U.N. - once again, something that he managed to obtain with a popular vote of June 2124.

The war itself didn't, unfortunately, follow exactly the script devised by Thomas, mostly because the U.N. military refused to play any dirty trick up to the end, to which the Anipos Robotic Army responded by as much as chivalrously inflicting horrendous deaths to the U.N. Armies throughout the whole war's six months.

Of course, as in any real world conspiration, soon after the end of the war, Thomas's accomplices  started writing books,  mostly presenting their reasons for participating in the Shenanigan.

When oceans indeed started releasing methane into the atmosphere, and  the Anipos robotic servants reacted placing the first section of Earth's orbital sunscreen, Thomas ideas were vindicated.

Without the screen, the Earth would be boiling, now. 

Thomas died the 4th of May, 2132, while the Swiss government was discussing - some say, cleverly delaying - a request of extradition for crimes against Humanity from the  International Tribunal of The Hague.

He was survived by his two wives, 7 sons and daughters,  22 grandchildren.

Note: nobody with last name Althussen lives in Switzerland as of today. 

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